the art of guerrilla activism
“Don’t confuse rebellion with terrorism.”
November 4, 2017
Traditional guerrilla warfare is a strategy. It is where a small group of combatants employs irregular tactics in an effort to effectively combat a larger, well-equipped military. When the US invaded Viet Nam, the northern villagers were unable to fight toe to toe with our armies. To skew the odds a bit, they might send a child into American camps to gain the trust of the soldiers at which point a bomb would be detonated. When the US invades and occupies oil-rich lands in the Middle East, improvised explosive devices (IEDs) are commonly used — roadside bombs — to disrupt military caravans, injure and kill Americans, in response to our drones and carpet bombs that indiscriminately wipe out high-value targets and civilian families alike. War is ugly. And guerrilla warfare is a response to well-funded and well-equipped imperialist government forces.
Is the war being waged by humans on every other species so different? Inside labs and factory farms, nonhuman animals are under siege, being mutilated and murdered by the billions annually; the numbers are so astronomical that they defy our ability to truly grasp the magnitude of death and suffering. And what can we possibly do against the state-sponsored, state-enforced, and state-protected savagery being visited upon our nonhuman cousins? We will never win in courtrooms. We will never win in the media. And we will never win wasting our time talking and debating with those who hold all the power — those to whom our protestations are impotent and laughable.
While we are not engaged in a struggle for our own freedom, the simple fact is that most activists will never be fully committed to ending animal slavery; they will never be willing to fight with the same resolve they would find if their own freedom were at stake. This is the reason we see so many nonsensical tactics sweeping the movement — lighting candles at slaughterhouses and doing photo ops for Facebook likes while the animals die; feel-good exercises that do absolutely nothing to liberate animals or stop abusers. Peaceful protests. Nonviolent vegan education. And my favorite, writing revolutionary rhetoric from an armchair. The animals don’t need another blog. Not mine. Not anyone’s. And, yes, I get the irony!
So we are left with an even smaller number of actors — the fringe within the Animal Liberation community — who are committed to taking effective action to the exclusion of all else. And to those like-minded militants, we all must understand that the problem is not that one of us is occasionally snagged by the state. Our problem is that when one of us is arrested, there never seems to be another 50 actors who step onto the battlefield to take their place. We must begin to think in terms of being guerrilla activists — that means being creative and thinking outside the box — evening up the playing field.
While none of us is violent by nature and hardly any of us have any criminal history outside of our activism, maybe one day we’ll see an activist strap on a bomb and walk into a conference of vivisectors to detonate. While I will not promote or encourage anything I’ve not done myself, I would applaud and celebrate such a selfless revolutionary. But what about you and me? We need to be creative. We know that Dario Ringach hung up his bloody lab coat when he began to fear for his children. We know that after his car was bombed, David Jentsch tried unsuccessfully to move to another blood-money mansion to escape our scrutiny. He failed. Of course, when NIO went offline, he was allowed to escape unnoticed to Endicott, NY while no one was looking. But the point is that we KNOW what works. Exposure works. And where exposure fails, applying pressure to the abuser’s loved ones is necessary.
Every animal we save counts. And every abuser we stop counts as well. Let’s stop this self-defeating gibberish that we can’t fight a whole system. Maybe not. But we can be creative and employ guerrilla activism to make the lives of individual abusers unbearable. Sabotage is a core element of any guerrilla strategy. And everything we need is available online. The wealth of information and tools at our fingertips is revolutionary. Explore the darknet. Maybe we can simply send letters to all the neighbors of an abuser or to their loved ones’ employers. Depending on one’s comfort level and skill set, maybe we want to secure someone’s social security number and destroy their credit. Maybe we want to send anonymous packages, untraceable, from across the globe to make our point. Or maybe we have the technical acumen to hack into an adversary’s online network — gathering all kinds of sensitive information — before we take it down. Wherever our talents lie, that is where we need to make ourselves heard. That is how we give the animals a voice. That is how we fight a war for Animal Liberation.
To be clear, this article is written solely for entertainment purposes and to spark a discussion. I am in no way advocating or encouraging criminal activity and take no responsibility for actions undertaken by any third party.